Basic Medicine, Neuroscience

Systems Neuroscience

System Neuroscience (From Neurons to Cognitive Function)

Medical Sciences Course

  • Master / Doctoral Degree



Professor, M.D. Ph.D.

*Concurrent Position

Research Theme

  • Neural mechanisms underlying voluntary action -How multiple cortical areas coordinate bodily movements?-
  • Theoretical study of cortical networks -How mind emerges from collective activities of neurons?-
  • Development of neuro-engineering tools -How neural state is monitored and manipulated by multi-disciplinary tools?-
Research Keywords:

prefrontal cortex, motor-related area, and parietal cortex, voluntary action, cognitive function, local cortical circuits, optogenetics

Technical Keywords:

electrophysiology, multi-channel recording, cognitive behavioral task, computational neuroscience, optogenetics

Laboratory Introduction

Recent progress in neuroscience allows us to address big issues like “mind-body problem” scientifically. We have been studying how mind works ( cognition, action, memory emotion) by recoding neuronal activities. Our aim of study is to understand how mind emerge from interactions of neurons under dynamics of brain- body-environment by multidisciplinary approaches.
Simple behaviors such as reaching movements results from interactions of many motor-related areas of the cerebral cortex. If so many areas try to control one arm, why is it possible to feel that I am acting as a single agent. One aim of our research is to understand how parallel and hierarchical cortical areas are integrated to one coordinated action.
Brain activities appear to fluctuate, synchronize together, or oscillate when the subject are engaged in various task. According to recent studies fluctuations, oscillations are very important for communications among different parts of the brain.. But the mechanisms are not clear.
We define “emergence” when interactions of components give rise to new functions beyond summations of components. In this sense, mind is an emergent property of brains, because mind is a new function beyond summations of neurons . But how? It is a big question.
Neuroscience has been expanding its research field by multidisciplinary approaches with various research disciplines . We are looking for candidates for neuroscience course from various field of academic field .

Figure 1. Problem-solving behavior and optical neural manipulation/ multi-channel recording

Figure 1. Problem-solving behavior and optical neural manipulation/ multi-channel recording

Figure 2. Neural oscillation and cortical circuits

Figure 2. Neural oscillation and cortical circuits

Recent Publications

  • Kawaguchi N, Sakamoto K, Saito N, Furusawa Y, Tanji J, Aoki M, Mushiake H. Surprise Signals in the Supplementary Eye Field: Rectified Prediction Errors Drive Exploration-Exploitation Transitions. J Neurophysiol. 113:1001-14, 2015
  • Osawa S, Iwasaki M, Hosaka R, Matsuzaka Y, Tomita H, Ishizuka T, Sugano E, Okumura E, Yawo H, Nakasato N, Tominaga T, Mushiake H. Optogenetically induced seizure and the longitudinal hippocampal network dynamics. PLoS One.8:e60928. 2013
  • Matsuzaka Y, Akiyama T, Tanji J, Mushiake H. Neuronal activity in the primate dorsomedial prefrontal cortex contributes to strategic selection of response tactics. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109:4633-8. 2012
  • Mita A, Mushiake H, Shima K, Matsuzaka Y, Tanji J. Interval time coding by neurons in the presupplementary and supplementary motor areas. Nat Neurosci. 12:502-7. 2009
  • Mushiake H, Sakamoto K, Saito N, Inui T, Aihara K, Tanji J. Involvement of the prefrontal cortex in problem solving. Int Rev Neurobiol.;85:1-11. 2009